Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • The Department of State (“DOS”) recently released the January 2023 Visa Bulletin. In addition to the final action dates and dates for filing charts for employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases, it contains notes on the diversity visa lottery and visa availability in the EB-1 category for China and India. As predicted, DOS implemented a cut-off date for the EB-1 category in India and China due to increased EB-1 demand and decreased visa number availability for FY 2023.  However, EB-2 and EB-3 India and China final action dates and dates for filing remain unchanged in January 2023. The EB-2 cut-off date for all other countries of chargeability also remains unchanged. For January 2023, employment-based applicants must use the dates for filing chart for adjustment of status applications.

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently released a new edition of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This new edition incorporates questions related to the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule that will go into effect on December 23, 2022. Beginning on December 23, 2022, USCIS will only accept the December 23, 2022 edition of Form I-485. However, USCIS advises that it will reject any application utilizing the updated edition if filed before December 23, 2022.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of November 30, 2022, DOL is adjudicating ETA 9089 PERM applications filed in or before March 2022 and processing PERM prevailing wage requests filed in or before January 2022.

  • USCIS released a progress report for FY 2022 that highlighted the work that it has done to reduce backlogs, utilize all available employment-based immigrant visas, extend EAD validity periods and reduce EAD wait times, as well as an outlook for FY2023. USCIS’ 2023 commitments included implementing premium processing for all I-140 petitions and certain EAD applications for students and exchange visitors, removing the requirement to submit biometrics for applications to change and extend nonimmigrant status, and simplifying several major forms, such as Form I-765, Form I-485, and Form N-400.

  • USCIS issued policy guidance to provide that it may automatically extend the validity of an applicant’s Permanent Resident Card for a period of 24 months using a Form N-400 receipt notice, without regard to whether the applicant has filed a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. USCIS stated that presentation of the Form N-400 receipt notice, along with the expired Permanent Resident Card is valid, unexpired evidence of lawful permanent resident status, as well as valid evidence of identity and employment authorization under List A of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9), if presented before the expiration of the 24-month extension period provided in the notice.

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